THE four anti-fracking protestors arrested yesterday have all been charged with obstructing a highway at Kirby Misperton.

A 23-year-old man, a 40-year-old woman, a 53-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman were all charged with obstructing Habton Road on September 20.

However, the other reasons for the protestors' arrests - including "having an article with intent to destroy or damage property" and "possessing a bladed article in a public place" - were both dropped.

The protestors will appear at York Magistrates Court next month.

Meanwhile, protestors have spoken of an "escalation" of policing tactics.

A spokesperson for the Kirby Misperton Protectors group said that "policing tactics proved inconstant and somewhat confusing" - and alleged that police used "pain pressure points" when moving protestors.

They added that one protestor, named Sarah, had to be taken to Scarborough A&E.

"She suffered a back injury after an inappropriate lifting technique was employed," they said.

Sarah added: "Four officers began carrying me away, when two of them dropped me and that twisted my back. The pain became worse over the next half an hour and following advisement, I went to A&E where I was diagnosed with ligament damage."

Superintendent Lindsey Robson, of North Yorkshire Police, said: "We have been engaging with the protest community, explaining what is acceptable in terms of safety and reasonableness, and we will continue to do so.

"We have a duty to make sure that people who want to assemble and protest do so safely, balanced against a duty to ensure that businesses can go about their lawful commercial activity.

"We would rather talk to people and persuade them to move than have to resort to force and make arrests.

"Where officers do take physical action, we will use tactics that are proportionate and use the minimum of force."